Radicchio

I’ve been going through some days where I’ve been tired of the same vegetables I eat every day; green beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach…. until I remembered and saw a vegetable in the store the other day I used to cook with a lot when I worked in an Italian restaurant downtown: Radicchio!!  Radicchio can be an acquired taste, as it’s quite bitter and a bit spicy, but when roasting it, the bitterness is reduced and you can also add some balsamic vinegar, season it with salt and pepper and it becomes  a delicious treat!  Here’s a picture of it:

Some of you may have seen it in salads along with other greens, and it’s also sauteed as a side dish in many Italian homes (it’s thought to be native to Italy).

Radicchio provides 9 calories per cup, 0 g fat, 1 g protein and 2 g of carbs and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, B6, E, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous among other vitamins and minerals.  The antioxidant content in radicchio is higher than in both spinach and blueberries and is highly nutritious. Try this recipe the next time you are cooking!

BRAISED RADICCHIO

1-2 heads of radicchio (about 1 lb)

3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth

1 medium onion, cut into slices

some fresh tarragon, salt and pepper to taste

1 oz non fat feta cheese (if your calorie allotment allows)

1-2 tbsp walnuts for garnish (if your calorie allotment allows!)

Coat medium saute pan with nonstick spray, saute onion and cook, for about 1 minute. add radicchio, tarragon, salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat, and cover with a lid. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so the vegetables don’t burn. Add broth to the radicchio, cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, until tender. Remove cover, cook for a few more minutes to reduce and thicken the liquid.  Re-season if needed with pepper and garnish with cheese and walnuts (optional).

Serves 2

Provides about 130 calories per serving, 17 g carbs, 6.5 g protein and 3 g fat (0.1 g if omitting walnuts).

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